April 30, 2019
After months of planning and inviting an all-star cast of witnesses, DSW had its first hearing before the House Judiciary Committee of the Rhode Island Legislature. State Rep. Anastasia Williams (D) presented bill H5354, which would create a temporary commission to study the effects of laws prohibiting commercial sexual activity. Approximately 15 witnesses, invited by DSW and COYOTE Rhode Island, testified in favor of the bill, with no witnesses opposed. The potential study commission would be a crucial first step to legislative acceptance of decriminalizing sex work, as the commission is expected to provide accurate data and thoughtful recommendations to state officials in early 2020.
We had more than 35 letters of support from individuals and organizations all over the country including Amnesty International, St. James Infirmary, Dame Catherine Healy, SWOP Behind Bars, and many more.
This lobby process and bill could not have been possible without the incredible work and partnership with COYOTE Rhode Island and students, faculty, and staff at Brown University.